• Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    Yes, and it seems the serious question is the practical one, how to best train oneself. Regrettably, there is no one perfect answer to this. For me, it's spending lots of time in nature, for somebody else it might be attending Mass, or doing scientific research, or driving a bus. We spend a lot of time arguing over which is the "one true way" when we probably should instead be focused on the question of "what is the right way for me?"Jake

    Agree - and no issue with me - I may be an apologist, but I am not an evangelist

    Words can easily get in the way. As example, if we ask "what is the right way for me to see God" the word God immediately brings to mind a collection of images in Western culture that may be helpful, or may be a fatal distraction.Jake

    There are all kinds of loaded words, and God is sure one of them. They are difficult to overcome in any discussion, not because of lack of meaning - but in having too many meanings, too many individual meanings, and too many different meanings. But for me it is a label, we have to call this entity something so we can somewhat discuss the concept. But agree can spend a bunch of unproductive time fighting through lots of walls and emotion when such words get used.

    I'm not sure what part of Catholic teaching might address any of this, perhaps you point to something?Jake

    have to give me a few on this - nothing jumping to mind

    As far as Catholicism goes the solution I see is simple and straightforward, have the clergy and nuns swap roles. Still an entirely Catholic operation, but all the branding damage is removed as an obstacle. One decisive act and Catholic credibility is back on track in the public realm, but regrettably in it's current form Catholicism appears to be incapable of such clarity. But then, I haven't been Catholic in a long time, so what do I really know about it?Jake

    Think we had this chat before. There is an immovable obstacle in the way of this idea. One that is complete catholic dogma so don't have a reasoned argument against. But the catch is, it has been addressed authoritatively, which means infallibly. It will take some pretty creative canon lawyers to find a way to get around this and maintain the concept of Papal infallibility - and without that, the Church just collapses into just one more protestant sect. Not going to happen.



    for the rest -

    There is no way around the abuse scandal - none. There is no excuse or explanation. The only thing the church can do, and what it should have done all along, is shine as bright a light on it as they can, ask for forgiveness, make amends to the injured and have faith that if what you believe to be true, is true, this is the one true church - it will survive. That to me is the one very big sin of the cover up, it is a lack of faith in The Church and therefor in Christ.

    Sermon over -
  • S
    10.2k
    Wisdom is that which enables us to discern or recognise right action. It is not right action of itself.Pattern-chaser

    And that's all there is to it? Discernment or recognition? Nothing additional about acting accordingly? So long as I discern or recognise right action, I am wise, even if I spend my entire life doing foolish things? Even if, say, I spend my entire life bashing a frying pan against my head and incessantly rambling about the wisdom of cauliflower, I would be a wise man, so long as I discerned or recognised right action?

    Wait, it's actually worse than that. You say that it's not the discernment or recognition, but what enables it. So my brain is wisdom, yet my discernment or recognition and my actions are just that and nothing more.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    how about something like an objective search for truth as you perceive truth to be, and acting in accordance with your truth.

    Does making wisdom an individual concept lessen it?
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.1k
    And that's all there is to it?S

    No. It requires your deliberate misunderstanding to reduce it to nonsense. :sad:
  • S
    10.2k
    No. It requires your deliberate misunderstanding to reduce it to nonsense. :sad:Pattern-chaser

    Is it wise to give a definition if the wording is terrible and easily leads to the very thing you call nonsense? Is it unwise to get you to try to think of a better way to word it?

    You tell me, Master.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.1k
    Is it wise to give a definition if the wording is terrible and leads to the very thing you call nonsense?S

    The wording isn't terrible. It refers to simple questions about what wisdom is, or might be. In asking you what you think wisdom is, I was just trying to find out ... what you think wisdom is. I wasn't trying to steal your definition, or even your understanding, for myself. I just wondered what you thought. I have my own understanding of wisdom, which you have ridiculed, and I hope(d) to improve that understanding. You have moved this discussion away from that destination, not toward it. So, in a literal and autistic way: thanks for nothing.
  • S
    10.2k
    The wording isn't terrible.Pattern-chaser

    Yes, Master. Sorry, Master. In future, if I find myself in a situation like this again, I will refrain from demonstrating how such a wording leads to logical consequences which seem to suggest otherwise, in case it embarrasses Masters such as yourself, and they take it personally.

    Master, what do you think of Diogenes of Sinope? Was he a fool to bring a plucked chicken to Plato's Acadamy and exclaim, "Behold! I've brought you a man!"?

    Do you know what they did after that? They improved the definition. Maybe they should've just replied that it's not a terrible definition, and thanked Diogenes for nothing.
  • S
    10.2k
    how about something like an objective search for truth as you perceive truth to be, and acting in accordance with your truth.Rank Amateur

    The problem is that we can never truly be objective, in the sense you seem to mean here. And that it could still be unwise, or so it seems to me, to go out searching for what we perceive truth to be, and acting in accordance with this perceived truth, which might not be true at all. Or should we all go on a wild goose chase, so long as we believe we can catch one?

    But your stab at it is along the same lines as my stab at it, and I think that both of our stabs at it are better than Pattern-chaser's, who seems to have thrown his toys out of the pram after I criticised his attempt.

    Anyway, here's what I really think about wisdom.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    The problem is that we can never truly be objective,S

    sure, and we can never be absolutely, truly a bunch of things. Does the inability of purity make the quest less important?

    And that it could still be unwise, or so it seems to me, to go out searching for what we perceive truth to be, and acting in accordance with this perceived truth, which might not be true at all.S

    except there is no "truth" or "wisdom" judge to give you the absolute and un-biased truth that you really are a fool. Although - there will be no shortage of impostures that tell you they are - and that you are

    Anyway, here's what I really think about wisdom.S

    You too ??
  • S
    10.2k
    sure, and we can never be absolutely, truly a bunch of things. Does the inability of purity make the quest less important?Rank Amateur

    No, certainly not. It just means that it could amount to a foolish endeavour.

    except there is no "truth" or "wisdom" judge to give you the absolute and un-biased truth that you really are a fool. Although - there will be no shortage of impostures that tell you they are - and that you areRank Amateur

    Yes, there is no such judge. We can only judge for ourselves as best we can.

    You too??Rank Amateur

    Ah, but the difference is that I'm not an impostor. That's everyone else. :grin:
  • Jake
    1.4k
    Hi Rank,

    But for me it is a label, we have to call this entity something so we can somewhat discuss the concept.Rank Amateur

    I'm not disagreeing, just trying to clarify that there may be a conflict between the reality of the situation and our desire to discuss. Discussion requires the use of nouns. Nouns imply an "entity" or some phenomena which is separate and distinct from other phenomena. That process may be appropriate to the reality of the situation, or maybe not.

    The best example I've been able to come up with is space. We have a name for space, implying it is something distinct from other phenomena, but in reality space is intrinsic to all phenomena.

    What might make us suspicious of nouns and the divisions they require is that we are literally made of (psychologically) an information medium (thought) which operates by a process of conceptual division. So is God a separate entity in reality? Or does God just seem to be a separate entity due to the inherently divisive lens we are looking through?

    There is an immovable obstacle in the way of this idea. One that is complete catholic dogma so don't have a reasoned argument against. But the catch is, it has been addressed authoritatively, which means infallibly.Rank Amateur

    Just for the sake of friendly debate, I would ask, what price are Catholics willing to pay for sticking with the failing status quo? The credibility and influence of the Church is collapsing, which from the Catholic perspective will result in lost souls. Is losing these souls worth it, just so the clergy can do one particular job instead of another equally important job, the work of nuns?

    Here's who will decide this question in reality. The laity. So long as the laity continues to fund a collapsing leadership structure that structure will continue. At the moment the laity decides to stop funding that leadership structure, some change the scale of what I'm suggesting will unfold.

    There is no way around the abuse scandal - none.Rank Amateur

    So long as Catholics keep saying that, it will remain true.

    There is of course no way to undo the past, but there is a way to transform the future of the Church. There is a way around the abuse scandal, there is a way to restore the credibility of the Church. It's true that those who got the Church in to this mess have no clue how to find their way out of the mess. That doesn't equal there being no way out.

    Imho, the principle at play here is this. The scale of change the Church submits itself to has to match the scale of the crime that's been committed. When those two things line up, the credibility of the Church will be restored.
  • S
    10.2k
    When those two things line up, the credibility of the Church will be restored.Jake

    Yeah right. The stench of this scandal is going to follow the Church around for a long, long time to come, even if they manage to get a grip on it. And rightly so.
  • Walter Pound
    199
    Science is a methodology. It accepts methodological naturalism and scientists go on and study the universe and try to develop parsimonious and natural explanations for whatever it is that they are interested in. If they develop true theories, then those scientific predictions that come from their theories are replicable; if not, then they need to start over again.

    For science to be atheistic, it would have to commit itself to ontological naturalism.

    I think that since science has been so successful in explaining the world, without supernatural forces, it ends up appearing as inherently atheistic, but if the world contained supernatural entities with causal powers, then scientists would have accepted their existence.

    The real question is if there are supernatural realities. If not, then, inevitably, science will be atheistic since atheism and ontological naturalism are closely linked.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    Just for the sake of friendly debate, I would ask, what price are Catholics willing to pay for sticking with the failing status quo? The credibility and influence of the Church is collapsing, which from the Catholic perspective will result in lost souls. Is losing these souls worth it, just so the clergy can do one particular job instead of another equally important job, the work of nuns?Jake

    Not arguing, explaining. For Catholics, the authority of the church is a direct and unbroken line from Christ to Peter, to every pope since. And even with some incredibly bad popes, and all the awful things some of them have done, none of them have ever acted authoritatively on matters of faith and morals, or as we would say infallibly, that had ever been shown to be in detriment to the church or in any moral way wrong. The reason we believe this, is when acting so, it is not the man acting, it is God acting through him. So, when John Paul spoke infallibly that the priesthood will only be men, that means to us God said so. One cannot actually be a well formed Catholic and not believe in the infallibility of the pope when acting authoritatively on matters of faith and morals. It is the very authority of the Church. Right or wrong, good or bad, there will not be women priests in the church. Or at least not without causing another great schism.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    Not arguing, explaining.Rank Amateur

    Understood, no problem.

    For Catholics, the authority of the church is a direct and unbroken line from Christ to Peter, to every pope since.Rank Amateur

    I understand this theory, and agree you've represented the doctrine accurately (not that I'm expert on such things).

    I'm not discussing the theory, but what I see in the real world. There is no authority of the Church. It's gone. The authority of the Church has been flushed down the toilet by clerical greed and incompetence.

    So if one believes, as it seems you and I both do, that the Church can be a force for good in the world, the question would seem to become...

    How to restore the lost credibility of this institution which has been so central in Western culture?

    I agree that the scale of change necessary would likely lead to a schism. So what? As you say, that's already happened before and that didn't impede the growth of Christianity, but rather assisted that growth, because the Reformation made more options available, it made Christianity more accessible to more people.

    All that said, I agree with you that none of what I'm suggesting is likely to happen any time soon, if ever. My point is really only that there is a path out of the current disaster, but that doesn't mean the path out will be taken.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    The real question is if there are supernatural realities.Walter Pound

    Or perhaps to be more precise, what does "supernatural" really mean?

    Does it mean beyond the laws of nature? Or does it mean beyond the laws of nature as understood by human beings?

    My guess is that there are things going on over our heads that would seem supernatural to us, because the phenomena exceeds our understanding of nature. As example, the Internet would seem "supernatural" to a squirrel, even though it obviously isn't.

    I would suggest that we might be suspicious of all dualistic polarities such as "natural vs. supernatural". Such either/or paradigms are likely to be more a function of how the human mind works than they are an accurate representation of reality.

    As example...

    Does space exist, or not, yes or no?

    The question assumes a dualistic polarity which may not be relevant to the phenomena of space. Instead of challenging various answers to the question, we might focus instead on challenging the question itself. If the question arises from a profound form of built-in bias, it's unlikely to deliver a useful answer.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    For Catholics, the authority of the church is a direct and unbroken line from Christ to Peter, to every pope since.Rank Amateur

    Would it be more accurate to say for some Catholics?

    My guess is that millions of Catholics would welcome some version of fundamental change, while millions of others clearly wouldn't.

    Let's say for example there was a schism and that it resulted in two versions of Catholicism, one run by nuns, one run by male clergy. This would allow us to put the fundamental change theory to a test. If the nun version withered away after a century or two, then I'd be proven wrong, and the question would be settled. Without a real world test of competing theories the situation remains one of "one theory vs. another theory" a recipe for eternal conflict within the Church.
  • Bill Hobba
    7
    I like to think of myself as a scientist, I am into Quantum Mechanics and am a Mentor on Physics Forums. I believe in the God Of Spinoza and many scientists do. If this is the kind of God being talked about here, I cant quite tell. But a study of things like Noether's Theorem are just so amazing its hard to escape the idea something deep is going on.

    Thanks
    Bill
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    How do you square the "thought" parameter of Spinozism with the lack of evidence that fundamental particles actually do any "thinking"?
  • Bill Hobba
    7
    The same way I square it with tables, that consist of fundamental particles, not doing any thinking. Why anyone would think Spinoza's views imply fundamental particles think beats me. Now the beauty of the laws they obey suggest there may be a sort of Platonic realm that really determines their behavior - Roger Penrose believes mathematics is the only reality. I do not although I once did. Like an individual cell can not think, perhaps the universe as a whole can exhibit properties like thinking. Spinoza has a whole dialectic on this with subtle definitions of substance etc. I am not that formal - I just think there is some organizing principle that manifests in things like Noethers beautiful theorem.

    Thanks
    Bill
  • Jake
    1.4k
    Like an individual cell can not think, perhaps the universe as a whole can exhibit properties like thinking.Bill Hobba

    I'm open to such a theory, but suspect the universe as a whole would be doing something far more advanced than mere human thinking. We could use the word "intelligence" but that concept also relies on a ridiculously small sample of reality, a single species on a single planet in one of billions of galaxies.

    I am quite open to the idea that the universe as a whole, matter and energy etc, is more than just a mechanical device. What exactly that might be, no idea.
  • S
    10.2k
    How to restore the lost credibility of this institution which has been so central in Western culture?Jake

    There are only two ways, although really there's only one, as the other is an illusion.

    1) In a nutshell, become everything it's not.

    2) Trick enough people, like so many people were tricked in the past.

    The first way is self-defeating, as it results in the effectual death of the Church (Hurrah!). The Church becomes empty and redundant. Or rather, even more so.

    The second way is immoral. The good times were from The Enlightenment onwards. The Dark Ages are known as that for a reason.
  • S
    10.2k
    Like an individual cell can not think, perhaps the universe as a whole can exhibit properties like thinking. Spinoza has a whole dialectic on this with subtle definitions of substance etc.Bill Hobba

    Yeah, and perhaps pigs can fly. Maybe I should write an entire treatise on that.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    Yeah, and perhaps pigs can fly. Maybe I should write an entire treatise on that.S

    Or, just another option, maybe you could refrain from clogging the forum with your cleverness? You know, there's an appropriate place for what you want to do. It's called Facebook.
  • S
    10.2k
    Or, just another option, maybe you could refrain from clogging the forum with your cleverness? You know, there's an appropriate place for what you want to do. It's called Facebook.Jake

    No thanks. Here will do.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.1k
    maybe you could refrain from clogging the forum with your cleverness? You know, there's an appropriate place for what you want to do. It's called Facebook.Jake

    :up:
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    Words can easily get in the way. As example, if we ask "what is the right way for me to see God" the word God immediately brings to mind a collection of images in Western culture that may be helpful, or may be a fatal distraction. That's why I'm often arguing for ignorance, clearing the mind of theories and conclusions to assist in facilitating experience. Each of us can reach for experiences that transcend the mundane, and there is really no need to then label and categorize the experience. I'm not sure what part of Catholic teaching might address any of this, perhaps you point to something?Jake

    Jake - sorry this took so long. Maybe the best I have seen on this point is from Karl rathner he refers to God as Mystery, a mystery we are inherently aware of, but unable to completely know. This mystery is not separate from us, but a part of us and everything else.

    By contrast with Camus, who argues this inherent search for meaning is absurd, Rahner argued that this unquenchable questioning was not absurd, but rather a constitutive feature of human nature, drawing us toward that holy mystery named God. Rather calls this a pre- knowledge, we all are aware of the infinite, we know it is there, even if we don't admit it.

    I did a very poor job on this slight touch into rahner's theology, but if it is a topic that interests you he is someone you should look into.

    Again, I am not an evangelist, but if I was, this quote from Rahner would be the kind of evangelist I would want to be.

    “It is by entering into the world of today, and being with men in their difficulties, their anxieties and doubts, that we can bring this world to faith, and not by posing as somehow different. . . . Our faith must be such that even the unbeliever cannot deny that here a man believes who is like himself, a man of today, on whose lips the word God does not come easily and cheaply, who doesn’t think he has mastered everything, and in spite of all this, rather because of all this, he believes.

    “For Christianity is not a formula which makes everything clear, but the radical submission of myself to an incomprehensible Mystery Who has revealed Himself as ineffable love.”
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    All - sorry all the misspellings it is Rahner, no particular good excuse, mea culpa
  • Anaxagoras
    349


    Actually science is naturally agnostic
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